Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Laugh? I nearly bought a round...

Since I'm finding this 'wondering' state somewhat torturous, I thought I'd lighten the mood with three punchy jokes. I have my own favourite, but would be interested to know what my friends around the blogosphere think, in a not-so-scientific test on humour...

1) Bloke threw a block of cheese at me.
I said to him, "That's not very mature."

2) Sausage and an egg in a frying pan...
Sausage says to the egg, "Hot in 'ere, innit, mate?"
Egg replies, "Bloody'ell, a talking sausage!"

3) Two birds sat on a perch. One asks the other, "Can you smell fish?"

What? Don't give up the day job, Col? Okay, but let me know your favourite, so I can re-visit the lab and assess the results. :)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Eastern Standard Crime is back... plus a few musings...

Geoff Eighinger is re-opening Eastern Standard Crime on October 1st. I have fond memories of the site, as my short FORUM OF FURY was given a very positive review there once upon a time. Plus, several writer friends received acclaim for their stories on the likes of Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers and A Twist Of Noir. I recall TKnC actually winning a 'Bullet Award' from ESC in August 2009, as did, the somewhat stunned, David Barber for one of his first published stories, SORRY LOVE. I blogged about it here on TKnC.

However, to avoid the burnout that saw Geoff close the site last year, he will be only reviewing crime novels from North American writers (sighs). Who knows, he may branch out to the Brits one day (hint, hint, Geoff).

To diverge, may I thank all my blog friends who chose to spread the word about my recent good news of earning representation from highly-respected New York agent, Nat Sobel.

Also, I had a lovely surprise earlier in the week when EVEN MORE TONTO SHORT STORIES slapped onto the hallway mat. It contains my first ever story in print, the gritty, no-nonsense, MOPPING UP - which introduces characters from my crime novel, including Detective Inspector Jack Striker. In a welcome twist of fate, I'm honoured to be sharing the pages with Matt Hilton, whose story THE SKIN WE'RE IN is well worth a nosey.

Thanks, too, to Matt Hilton, who assisted me with my crime postings over at TKnC, as I've been particularly busy lately. There has been a flurry of posts recently and you may have missed some excellent stories, including some cracking debuts, so why not check out the last dozen or so? You won't be disappointed. And please let the writers know what you thought, constructively!
I'm rambling, so catch you soon... hopefully with good news on my crime novel, which is doing the rounds...


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Hooking up, with a trio of writer buds...

Recently I took a hard-earned break and headed up to Scotland to spend some time with my long-time writing bud, David Barber. It was great to finally see where Dave and his lovely family lived, and to take in the stunning scenery up in 'the heart of Scotland'. The snapshot (top left) was taken a stone's throw from Dave's home. And, despite Dave positioning himself, on that rock, to look taller than I, we all know the truth. The cool dude at the front is my lad. It seemed fitting to celebrate the finishing of my crime novel and the good news on the agent front, with my old school pal. We had a damn good laugh, 'chewed the fat' about writing, and I sampled not only a few bottles of a dark Scottish ale, but also Dave's age-old whisky. Needless to say, I can't recall much else of my trip!However, one place I couldn't forget was Loch Lubnaig, where Dave says he beat me at skimming stones. Funny how every time I did a 'sixer' or 'niner' he seemed to be looking away, so it didn't count. Dave 'n' Lisa took us all over the place during our short stay... to several lochs, water falls, castles, a wildlife park, and Rob Roy's grave, to name a few. And our kids got on just great. One thing's for sure: we'll be back again next year.
On our return I couldn't possibly miss out on hooking up with a man who's been not only a great mate, but also an inspiration to me, and many other aspiring writers... thriller author, Matt Hilton. We met in Carlisle and, as a thank you for all his support, I bought him 'dinner'. We celebrated my recent good news in true northern style... with a cappuccino at McDonalds! (The champagne's on ice - just hope it dunt melt).
Then we were off again, eastwards, to a family wedding in Lincoln, which was thoroughly enjoyable. However, since the kids wanted to see The Humber Bridge, and I wanted to meet up with another writing bud, we took the scenic route home, and headed for Hull... Nick Quantrill territory...
Hands up if you've ever played football on the shores of the The Humber with a crime novelist... Yep, Nick, me lad 'n' I did just that, as we had a good old chinwag about this writing lark and the (mis)fortunes of our respective footy teams: Hull and Manchester City. At 1.4 miles long, the Humber Bridge is mightily impressive, akin to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. But I think that's where the similarities with Hull end! Nuff said.

It was great to see Dave, Matt 'n' Nick, three better lads you couldn't wish to meet.

Ps. 'Stuff' is happening re' the novel, but I'm frankly too scared to tempt fate. It's somewhat surreal, as I'm at the 'wondering' stage in a kind of torturous limbo...